What Happens When My Cosmetology License Expires?

What happens when my cosmetology license expires?

Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s easy to forget to renew your license when you’re balancing work and life. Continuing to work after your cosmetology license has expired, however, can lead to serious consequences.  

Your cosmetology license is physical proof that you have obtained proper training, met your state’s requirements, and passed the necessary exams to practice your profession legally in your state.   

Like other professional licenses, your cosmetology license expires after a certain set time, after which you must renew it in order to practice. If you miss your renewal deadline and continue to practice after your license has expired, you could face fines and/or serious penalties.  

Find your state requirements here. 

What are the consequences of working with an expired license? 

An expired cosmetology license means that you no longer meet the state’s requirements to practice cosmetology. Depending on which state you are licensed in, the state licensing board will require its cosmetologists to complete a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) and pay a renewal fee to keep the license current. If you fail to meet these requirements, your license will expire. You cannot (and should not) practice until you renew it. 

The penalties for practicing with an expired license can range from fines to license suspension or even revocation. Additionally, any clients who suffer harm or injury due to unlicensed practice could sue the cosmetologist and/or the salon for damages. 

What should I do if my license expires?  

To avoid the consequences of an expired license, renew your license before it expires. Keep track of the expiration date and any renewal requirements to avoid any lapses in licensure.  

If you are not sure about renewal requirements, visit your state’s cosmetology board website or contact them via phone to find out. Many states offer online license renewal, making it easier and more convenient to renew licenses. 

If you realize that your license has expired, stop practicing immediately. Depending on the state, and how long your license has been expired, the process of renewing can vary.  

While some states may require you to complete additional CEUs and pay a fee, others may require you to retake the licensing exam. Whatever the case, it is important to follow your state’s guidelines to ensure that the renewal process is smooth and successful. 

Practicing with an expired cosmetology license can lead to major problems that cost you lots of time and money. It may even take a negative toll on your career. From legal penalties, loss of reputation, and harm to clients the consequences are grave, but avoidable.   

Tips for renewal 

Here are some tips to help ensure you don’t miss your renewal window and keep you in good standing:  

  • Stop practicing immediately when you notice your license has expired 
  • Take time to research your state’s renewal guidelines 
  • Prepare ahead to avoid a lapse 
  • Set up reminders in your phone and/or put it on your salon calendar  
  • Keep your state’s laws and rules book handy 
  • Stay on top of your required CE with online options from Elite 

By ensuring your license is current, you can continue to provide clients with the highest level of service—legally!